BC FORUM News - from the Autumn 2017 issue of The Advocate
Pushing the BC government to recognize older persons
BC FORUM has asked the provincial government to officially recognize October 1, the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons.
Diane Wood, President, made the request in emails to Premier John Horgan and Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors.
The need to tap into the contributions of older persons is not only essential to older persons’ well-being, but also imperative for sustainable development processes. – United Nations
“I think it would be an excellent decision if the BC Legislature considered doing this,” wrote Wood.
She pointed out that the Alberta government plans to introduce legislation next spring to make the celebration of October 1 an annual event, and this year will issue a proclamation to mark the occasion.
Through the work of the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of BC (COSCO), of which BC FORUM is an affiliate, a number of BC municipalities already recognize the day.
This year’s theme is “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”
The United Nations says the goal is to enable and expand the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large.
The focus is on measures to support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.
Between 2015 and 2030, the number of older persons worldwide is set to increase by 56 per cent — from 901 million to more than 1.4 billion.
By 2030, the number of people aged 60 and above will exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24.
“It is starkly evident that the need to tap into the often overlooked and under-appreciated contributions of older persons is not only essential to older persons’ well-being, but also imperative for sustainable development processes,” says the United Nations in its comments on the theme of this year’s celebration of the contributions of older persons.
The UN highlights the need to:
• Act on issues that influence the readiness of older persons to participate including health care, regular income, legal protection and access to financial services.
• Facilitate contributions and participation in old age through technology, education and lifelong learning, access to information, and overcoming barriers that exclude or discriminate against older persons.